Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Tradition - Handwritten Letters?

Email, text, cell phone, instant message, PM.......and the list goes on.

I've realized that my children are learning to communicate without emotion. They're falling into a trap of non-verbal communication and it's scaring me. All those things are so convenient, and I personally love them too. They're faster, easier and get the job done. But this past weekend I realized that my daughters (pre-teen and teen) haven't hand written a letter to anyone in their family in a few years.

I remember as a youth writing my grandparents, they would write me back...writing my cousins and getting cute decorated notes back in the mail. There is something to be said about the excitement that stirs when we look in the mailbox and see a letter from a family member, a friend across the country or a pen pal. (Do people still pen pal?)

I was going through some keepsake boxes and realized I had an entire shoebox filled with handwritten letters from my cousins, grandparents, and friends that were sent to me during my childhood. I stopped and read those letters for about 2 hours and realized that my children have no shoe boxes full of letters. They have email accounts that are used for quick writes, dumb jokes and few funky surveys.

Where are those emails going to be in 20 years? Not in a shoebox.

The advice and stories that I have in that shoebox is priceless. It's a treasure box full of support, love, direction, advice, congratulations.....I can't even list them all. I pulled them out and shared them with my kids and they were captivated by these letters. They loved to see "great-grandma's" beautiful handwriting and the stories and emotion that flowed onto the paper.

There is something special, something different about a handwritten letter. I've read somewhere about the positive impact personally handwriting a letter can benefit a child, a mother, a father. One of our family "traditions" that we try to do each month is write HAND WRITTEN letters to family. No texting, emailing, or pm'ing...a real handwritten letter. I hope that we can start a family tradition with all of our extended family and bring back the beauty of swapping stories and memories through the mail.

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PS. A very amazing wonderful friend of mine has started a new blog called "Incredible Women". This week she is highlighting one my heroes and one of THE most incredible women I have ever met....


Cheffie-Mom said...

Wonderful post - and so true!! Handwritten letters are so special and full of memories!! I'm off to check out "Incredible Women".

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I need to read that,it's hard to communicate always digitally.
I was browsing and I loved what I saw. You have a lovely blog, eye candy. I've
just followed it. I'd love if you visited my blog,too.
Have a great day!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Very encouraging, Tara!

Muthering Heights said...

Good point about emails & the shoebox!

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Madame Menu said...

I have to admit, since I blog too... I'm no one to criticize modern communication conveniences. That said... there is nothing like a good ol' fashioned letter. Things like handwritten thank you notes are becoming a thing of the past, even. I received a thank you not for a wedding that a) had no actual handwriting on it, but a printed message, b) was a generic photo card with "thanks for sharing our day" on it, and c) didn't even have the address label written out. It was an actual paper label. This makes me sad. What happened to pen pals? Emails are fine, and I understand they're convenient, but there's something to be sad for that handwriting... there's something romantic about it. It really is an art form, and gradually becoming a lost art form.

Barbara@MGD said...

Tara, you should scan those letters and put them in a Cherishbound book, just incase something ever happens to that shoebox.

LeeAnn said...

I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I so agree with you about the loss of handwritten letters in our society. You have a great idea here of monthly sending out handwritten letters to family. I'm going to put that idea into practice. I love to send out notes of encouragement to others. I have been encouraged just at a moment that I needed it, when I've recieved one of those beautiful notes myself.

Good to meet you and I will visit your blog again.

Lee Ann

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